~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – The Dangers of Smoking – Part 2 of 3 ~

What Chemicals are in Tobacco Smoke?
Here are some of the chemicals you may not have realized are in cigarettes and other ways they are used:
Nicotine: used as insecticide.
Hydrogen Cyanide: used in rat poison.
Acetone: A component of nail polish remover
Acetic Acid: an ingredient in hair dye
Carbon monoxide: Found in car exhaust fumes
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT): A toxic pesticide
Ammonia: used in toilet cleaner
Toluene: found in paint thinners
Cadmium: active component in battery acid
Polonium 210: A radioactive agent used to eliminate static electricity in machinery
Methanol: Automotive fuel
Phenol: used in fertilizers
Butane: used in lighter fluid
Lead: used in batteries
Tar: particulate matter in cigarette smoke
Naphthalene: an ingredient in mothballs
Formaldehyde: used in preservation of laboratory specimens
Hexamine: found in barbecue lighter fluid
Dangers of Smoking During Pregnancy
Smoking while pregnant exposes a woman and her unborn child to an increased risk of health problems including ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, premature labour, and sudden unexpected death in infancy. Smoking also affects the development of your baby’s lungs and brain. Every cigarette is doing damage to your baby: The carbon monoxide you inhale replaces some of the oxygen in your blood, reducing the amount of oxygen getting to your baby. The nicotine in cigarettes reduces how well your placenta works, making it harder for your baby to get the oxygen and nourishment it needs. While the best time to quit smoking is before you get pregnant, quitting any time after pregnancy can benefit you and the baby. When you stop smoking you baby will get more oxygen even after just 1 day, your baby will grow better, is less likely to be born too early, you will have more energy and breathe easier and less likely to develop heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and other smoking-related diseases. Talk to your doctor about quitting today.
Is It Too Late to Quit?
No matter your age, quitting smoking improves your health and wellbeing. If you quit smoking, you are likely to add years to your life, breathe more easily, save money also reduce your risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, and lung disease. Its never too late to quit! According to Quitline as soon as you stop smoking your body begins to repair itself. Typical benefits of quitting are:
Within 6 hours: Your heart rate slows and your blood pressure becomes more stable.
Within a day: Almost all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.
– The level of carbon monoxide in your blood has dropped and oxygen can more easily reach your heart and muscles.
– Your fingertips become warmer and your hands steadier.
Within a week: Your sense of taste and smell may improve.
– Your lungs’ natural cleaning system is starting to recover, becoming better at removing mucus, tar and dust from your lungs (exercise helps to clear out your lungs).
– You have higher blood levels of protective antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Within 3 months: You’re coughing and wheezing less.
– Your immune system is beginning its recovery, so your body is better at fighting off infection.
– Your blood is less thick and sticky, and blood flow to your hands and feet has improved.
Within 6 months: You are less likely to be coughing up phlegm.
– You’re likely to feel less stressed than when you were smoking.
After 1 year: Your lungs are now healthier, and you’ll be breathing easier than if you’d kept smoking.
Within 2 to 5 years: There is a large drop in your risk of heart attack and stroke, and this risk will continue to gradually decrease over time.
– For women, within five years, the risk of cervical cancer is the same as someone who has never smoked.
After 10 years: Your risk of lung cancer is lower than that of a continuing smoker (provided the disease was not already present when you quit).
After 15 years: Your risk of heart attack and stroke is close to that of a person who has never smoked.
Remember: How fast and how well your body recovers can depend on the number of cigarettes you normally smoke, how long you’ve been smoking, and whether you already have a smoking-related disease. Talk to your doctor.